Welcome to your comprehensive guide for moving to Honolulu, Hawaii. The mere mention of Honolulu conjures up images of pristine beaches, swaying palm trees, and a lifestyle deeply rooted in the ‘Aloha spirit’. But moving to this Pacific paradise involves more than just daydreams of surfing and sunbathing. In this guide, we’ll navigate through the essentials of making Honolulu not just a holiday destination, but a place to call home.

Planning a Move to Honolulu

When planning a move to Honolulu, it’s crucial to book your moving services well in advance to ensure a seamless transition. Given the unique logistical challenges associated with moving to an island, it’s recommended to start planning at least 2 to 3 months before your intended move date. Here are some key reasons why early planning is essential:

  1. Limited Availability: Moving companies that handle interstate or overseas relocations, especially to locations like Hawaii, often have limited availability. Booking early ensures you get a spot with a reputable company.
  2. Complex Logistics: Moving to an island involves more complex logistics than a typical move. It often requires coordination between multiple parties, including land and sea transportation. Early booking allows for better coordination and smoother logistics.
  3. Seasonal Demand: Demand for moving services varies throughout the year. Summer months are typically the busiest due to favorable weather and family preferences (aligning with school vacations). Booking in advance is particularly crucial if you plan to move during these peak times.
  4. Cost-Effectiveness: Booking early can also be more cost-effective. Last-minute bookings might come with a premium, especially if your move requires special arrangements or expedited services.
  5. Personal Preparation Time: Early booking gives you more time to prepare for the move. This includes sorting out your belongings, completing necessary paperwork, and making travel arrangements for yourself and your family.

Insider Tips of Your Move to Honolulu

Moving to Honolulu as a traveler is an exciting adventure that offers a unique blend of urban living and island charm. Here are some insider tips to help you make the most of your move and quickly adapt to the island lifestyle:

  1. Embrace Local Culture and Traditions: Take time to learn about Hawaiian culture, traditions, and history. Understanding the local customs, such as the importance of ‘ohana’ (family) and ‘aloha’ (love, peace), will enrich your experience and help you connect with the community.
  2. Get Involved in Community Events: Participate in local events, festivals, and community gatherings. This is a great way to meet new people, make friends, and feel a part of the community. Events like the Honolulu Festival, Lei Day celebrations, and King Kamehameha Day are perfect opportunities.
  3. Explore Beyond the Tourist Spots: While places like Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head are must-sees, don’t forget to explore lesser-known areas. Check out the North Shore, the Windward Coast, and the central Oahu regions for a more authentic experience of the island.
  4. Learn Basic Hawaiian Phrases: While English is widely spoken, learning some Hawaiian phrases shows respect for the local culture. Simple words like ‘Mahalo’ (thank you), ‘Aloha’ (hello/goodbye), and ‘Kama’aina’ (local resident) can go a long way.

More than Just a Tourist Destination

Honolulu, the vibrant heart of Hawaii, is a fusion of natural beauty, cultural richness, and modern conveniences. As the state’s capital, it’s not just a beach town but a bustling urban center. Before packing your bags, it’s crucial to understand what living in Honolulu really means.

Housing in Honolulu: Finding Your Island Home

The housing market in Honolulu, HI, as of late 2023 and early 2024, presents a mix of opportunities and challenges for potential buyers and sellers. The median sale price in Honolulu is notable, with a recorded value of approximately $579,000, marking an 11.9% increase from the previous year. 

This increase reflects a sustained growth trend in the market. Homes in Honolulu typically sell slightly below the listing price, around 2%, and the average time on the market is around 70 days. This suggests a market where negotiation is possible, and buyers can take a more measured approach to their purchasing decisions. However, with a limited inventory of homes, particularly in high-demand neighborhoods, buyers need to be prepared to act quickly when they find a suitable property​​.

In terms of broader trends in the Hawaii real estate market, the average median home price across the state is around $748,400, showing a 6.8% year-over-year increase. The market is characterized by a significant drop in home sales and a median day on market of about 68 days. With a low supply of homes, the market in Hawaii, including Honolulu, is quite competitive. 

The prediction for 2024 indicates that the market might favor sellers due to the continuing rise in home prices and the limited housing inventory. However, it’s also expected that the number of home buyers will rise as mortgage rates stabilize and the market becomes more active​​.

The Cost of Living: Managing Paradise Expenses

The cost of living in Honolulu, Hawaii, as of early 2024, is marked by higher prices across various essential and non-essential categories. For everyday groceries and dining, residents can expect to pay around $6.21 for a regular cappuccino, $7.64 for a gallon of milk, and $5.99 for a loaf of fresh white bread. Dining out in the business district for a basic lunch, including a drink, costs approximately $22. These prices reflect Honolulu’s reliance on imports and its island geography.

Housing costs in Honolulu are also significant. Rent for an 85 m2 (approximately 900 sqft) furnished apartment in an expensive area of the city averages around $3,715 per month, while a similar apartment in a more average area costs about $2,669 per month. The monthly utilities for a flat of this size would be around $400. For personal transportation, residents face costs such as $1.35 per liter (approximately 1/4 gallon) of gas and $68 for a monthly public transport ticket. These figures illustrate the premium cost of living in this island paradise, driven by its desirable location and limited space for expansion.

Transportation: Navigating the Island

The cost of transportation in Honolulu, HI, particularly for car ownership, is notably high. A study by the Ulupono Initiative estimated that owning a vehicle in Hawaii costs about $8,100 annually or $675 per month, considering expenses like gas, maintenance, and insurance. For families owning two cars, this expense doubles. 

The state study suggests a lower cost, estimating that a family of four on Oahu needs around $260 per month for transportation. Gas prices in Honolulu are higher than the national average, contributing significantly to these costs. Additionally, the price of registering a car in Honolulu is higher than in many other places due to a weight-based tax system, which can be particularly burdensome for owners of older or heavier vehicles​​.

Employment Opportunities: Working in Paradise

Honolulu, as the capital city of Hawaii and a major tourist destination, has a diverse range of employment opportunities, particularly in sectors like tourism, hospitality, and service industries. These sectors are vital to the city’s economy, offering numerous jobs in hotels, restaurants, travel services, and entertainment. Additionally, Honolulu is a hub for government jobs due to its status as the state capital, with various opportunities in public administration, education, and 


Moreover, Honolulu’s unique location in the Pacific also makes it a center for jobs in the maritime industry, including shipping and naval facilities. The presence of military bases contributes to employment in defense-related sectors. As a city with a rich cultural heritage, there are also opportunities in cultural, educational, and environmental institutions. While the exact figures and statistics for 2024 are not available, it’s safe to assume that these sectors continue to be significant employers in the city. For more detailed and updated information, checking local job boards, company websites, and government employment resources would be advisable.

Your New Life in Honolulu

Moving to Honolulu, HI, is about embracing a new way of life. It’s where city convenience meets island tranquility, modernity meets tradition, and every day feels like a mini-vacation. As you embark on this exciting journey, remember that every move comes with its challenges, but the rewards of living in such a unique and vibrant city are immeasurable. Welcome to Honolulu – your new home awaits in this island paradise. 

And if you are considering a move to Honolulu, rest assured that navigating the city is straightforward, and in terms of relocation, opting for a local Honolulu moving company ensures a smooth, hassle-free transition to this vibrant and dynamic city. For the most current and comprehensive employment information, exploring local job boards, individual company websites, and official government employment portals is highly recommended.